WHOLEFOOD CUISINE NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive a weekly peek inside our kitchen.


3 of 4—2018—Thanksgiving Turkey

Debra Redalia

 


 

In 2017 and 2018 I did a lot of research on turkeys when I first moved here to Sonoma County, California. Originally these posts were posted on my debralynndadd.com website where I was writing about toxic-free products. I’ve moved them here.

1 of 4—2017—Want a Turkey worth gobbling? Here's What to Look for on the Label
2 of 4—2017 My Thanksgiving Organic Heritage Turkey – A Shining Example of a Toxic-Free Product
3 of 4—2018—Thanksgiving Turkey
4 of 4—2018—Why Buy Organic Turkey

This year I won’t be home for Thanksgiving. I’m going to do A Different Thanksgiving Dinner.

But I recommend reading all these posts and their associated links before choosing a turkey.

We actually have flocks of wild turkeys here. There was a flock right in my yard yesterday.

Last year I wrote a long post about all the different choices we have for Thanksgiving turkeys.

After doing this research I decided to purchase a locally-grown heritage turkey from a 4H project and wrote about that experience as well at My Thanksgiving Organic Heritage Turkey—A Shining Example of a Toxic-Free Product.

This year I am considering my choices yet again.

Again, here where I live I can purchase a fresh heritage turkey and organic and, of course, conventional turkeys.

This year I’m on the fence between buying another heritage turkey or buying an organic turkey.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

Last year I wanted the experience of a heritage turkey. I was willing to spend $9 a pound for that experience. But I didn’t know what the turkey would be like, and I didn’t want to deprive my family of the usual turkey experience they were expecting, so we actually had two turkeys.

An organic turkey is half the price and it’s organic, but it’s what is called a “broad-breasted white”—a hybrid breed that have been created to produce a lot of breast meat. This year I’ve been eating a lot more heirloom and heritage foods so the thought of eating a hybrid turkey seems much less appealing to me.

But stil, it’s better than a conventional turkey. It’s organic.

My choices for organic here are to buy one of two brands:
 

    • Willie Bird Organic is our very local brand. In fact, they are almost in my back yard. They were one of the first companies to go natural with their turkeys years ago. Their organic birds are limited and local and not on their website. But my the butcher at my local independent grocery offered to order one for me when I asked. Willie Bird Organic Turkeys are being shipped by Williams-Sonoma this year.

 

  • Mary’s Organic Turkeys are being sold by my local organic food co-op. This brand is very highly regarded in my town and sold at all the best places. On their website you can order a conventional turkey, a free-range turkey, an organic turkey or a heritage turkey. Again these are very local and you can’t order delivered-to-your-door, but check out their website and see how they are raising their turkeys and look for something similar in your local area.
    I haven’t decided yet which turkey I’m going to choose, but I have to show you my dream turkey. My favorite restaurant—SHED in Healdsburg, California— is offering these turkeys for special order, starting at about $200.

 
They are from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Kansas. They DO ship turkeys, chickens, ducks, and geese. The primo primo primo restaurants here serve these birds, Naturally bred, sustainably raised, and humanely harvested. Again check their website and see what they are doing and look for local. They are the oldest continuous strain of standard-bred heritage birds in North America.